In memory of Polmont’s Douglas

Douglas McCulloch's family will take part in Race for Life
Douglas McCulloch's family will take part in Race for Life

The widow, daughters and sister of an award-winning rugby coach are taking part in a charity run to help fight the disease that killed him.

Polmont’s Douglas McCulloch (49) was given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with a stage-four brain tumour in April 2013.

But thanks to targeted treatment and excellent care, father-of-three Douglas spent almost two extra years with his loved ones before passing away in February.

Now the four women are taking part in Falkirk’s Race for Life 2015 to raise money so other cancer patients can get cutting-edge treatment and enjoy more time with their families.

Douglas’s sister Kathleen McCulloch said: “We are so grateful for the time we had with him. He was given a very short time to live when he was first diagnosed, but got a quality 20 months to be with his family and do the things he wanted.

“With Race for Life, we just wanted to give something back. We are not a showy family, but we wanted to share our story and encourage others to sign up.”

After his diagnosis at Ross Hall Hospital, Douglas, who coached the junior section at Stirling County, was transferred to the Southern General where surgeons removed 95 per cent of his tumour.

He went on to receive six weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for the next six months.

The treatment and his health meant he couldn’t travel, and Douglas and his wife Fiona were forced to cancel a holiday to Florida which had been planned for June 2013 for their silver wedding.

But in September last year, the couple he was well enough go on the dream holiday.

When a second brain tumour was found in October 2014, Douglas received a revolutionary type of targeted radiotherapy at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

But when a third tumour was discovered in the New Year, Douglas deteriorated.

Kathleen (47) from Shieldhill said: “Before he died, he said he had received wonderful care and treatment. They would have tried anything to help him.”

Fiona and daughters Kelsey (25) and Stephanie (18) will join Kathleen in the Race for Life this summer, when they will run under the team banner Fabulous Four.

The team will be cheered on by Douglas’s son Stewart (23) and Kathleen’s sons Gareth (16) and Ross (18).

To sign up for Race for Life, which is being held at Callendar Park on June 21, visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

Douglas started his rugby career as a schoolboy with Grangemouth RFC, but played for Corstorphine and Falkirk before hanging up his boots.

The teams that he coached at Stirling were recognised for their attacking play with a number of players going on to win professional contracts.

He coached teams that won the National Youth Cup at U16, and twice at U18 level . And his talents were recognised when he was named the Scottish Hydro Youth Coach of the Season in 2008/2009.